Skip to main content
Official Site of the Pac-12 Conference and Pac-12 Network

McLaughlin Returning To Roots At Notre Dame

Jan 16, 2015

SEATTLE – Jim McLaughlin, who established Washington Volleyball as a national powerhouse over fourteen seasons, has told UW officials that he has accepted the head coaching position at the University of Notre Dame.

“Jim McLaughlin recently informed us that he was accepting an offer to become the head volleyball coach of the Fighting Irish,” said University of Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward. “Jim spent time as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, his wife Margaret attended UND, and throughout our discussions over the past few days it became very clear that this opportunity provided Jim and his family a unique chance to return to a place of great personal significance to them.”

From 2001 until this past fall in 2014, McLaughlin produced a record of 355 wins and just 90 defeats, in conjunction with thirteen consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, four Final Four bids, three Pac-12 Championships, and the 2005 NCAA Championship. This past season, Washington went 31-3, completing consecutive 30-win seasons for the first time in program history, and advanced to the NCAA round of 16 for the ninth time under McLaughlin.

Said Woodward, “Jim poured his heart and soul into building the Husky Volleyball program over the past fourteen years and has achieved unprecedented success. While I am disappointed to see Jim go and will miss working with him, he, Margaret and their three daughters carry with them my best wishes for success in their new endeavor.

“With the help of my executive staff, I have embarked on a search to find the next head coach who can continue to build upon the success that Coach McLaughlin has achieved here at Washington.  This is a coveted position in collegiate volleyball, and I anticipate a very deep and talented pool of candidates who are qualified to keep Husky Volleyball a national power.”

McLaughlin was a four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year at UW (2002, 2004, 2005, 2013) and the 2004 AVCA National Coach of the Year. Washington players combined to earn 34 AVCA All-America honors since 2001, with Courtney Thompson (2005) and Krista Vansant (2013 and 2014) winning the Honda Award for the national player of the year.

Statement From Jim McLaughlin
“This was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my coaching career.  My wife, Margaret, is from the Midwest and all of her family is still there.  She has followed me across the country and we both decided that it was time to pursue opportunities in that part of the country.  The past fourteen years have been wonderful for me and my family.  We could not have been treated any better by the university or the Seattle community.  My children have all grown up here and it has been a great place to raise a family.  I love the University of Washington and will cherish the time I spent here and the relationships that were forged over the past fourteen years.  I cannot thank enough the university administrators and everyone in the athletic department who have always provided me with tremendous assistance and support.   Scott Woodward has been fabulous to work for and has been willing to do whatever was needed to allow us to be successful.  I have been extremely fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work with some great people here including my assistant coaches and other support staff who did an exceptional job and were key to our success here.  The fan support has been absolutely incredible and I want to thank the students who gave us a true home court advantage, the Seattle community who helped us become a perennial leader in attendance and all of the people who provided our program with personal as well as financial support that was invaluable to our success.  People like Anne and Wayne Gittinger and Ben and Nancy Remak were so helpful and were great friends of the volleyball program.  Coaching in the Pac-12 Conference has been a tremendous experience and I have nothing but the greatest respect and admiration for all of my fellow coaches. We knew we were going to face stiff competition and a well-coached team each and every match during the Pac-12 season.  My passion is to coach volleyball and it was a joy to go to the gym every day and coach all of the wonderful players that have been in our program over the past fourteen years.  The hardest part of leaving will be having to say good-bye to my outstanding assistant coaches, support staff and players.  Leslie Gabriel has been my top assistant from Day 1 here and it is hard to imagine going to work now without having her right there with me.  She is a special woman, a tremendous volleyball coach and a great friend.   Keegan Cook has been a great addition to our staff and he is going to have an incredibly successful career as a coach.  I will forever be grateful for the time I spent at the University of Washington and will leave with nothing but fond memories.”